I’m still trying to find the perfect MMO.
It’s been hard, frankly. So many great concepts to come out, all to fail to meet my standards.
Maybe my standards are too high. Or, maybe, they’re just not the right games for me.
I’ve spent a good bit of time with the upcoming MMO “Wildstar” and, fingers crossed, I think I may have found the one.
Visually, it’s very reminiscent of “WoW.” They definitely weren’t aiming for realism in the graphics department. That’s not to say, though, that it looks bad. I’m really a huge fan of the art style. It’s cartoony, but cool.
There is, of course, conflict between the two sides as they battle for control of the newly discovered planet Nexus. The Exiles just want a home, as the Dominion kicked them out, but the Dominion want to take over the planet in hopes of taking over the ancient technology lying within.
It’s a neat story, since it takes place in the future and I’ve wanted a futuristic MMO for years. In many ways, it also reminds me of Borderlands, going hunting for an ancient treasure on a distant planet. Pretty cool, if I do say so myself.
Unlike many previous MMOs, combat in Wildstar is very active. Think “Guild Wars 2,” but without being as frenetic.
In combat, “Wildstar” uses what they call telegraphs; these are visual areas on the ground that show where spells will land. Both players and non-player characters display these when they use abilities. They help you aim your shots and show you where you shouldn’t be standing.
In the early areas of the game, you get a good chance to figure out how it all works, gaining a new ability each level for a short time, each with a different effect. The enemies you face also allow you to get a grasp on the way their telegraphs work, displaying large red areas on the ground, but giving you time to move out of them (unless you’re really slow or just don’t pay attention).
It’s the active combat that’s really driving me to like this game. While “Guild Wars 2” had it, it didn’t have something I realized I would miss so much: the trinity that is tank, damage and healing. While I originally praised the lack of distinct roles in “Guild Wars 2,” their absence really made me not enjoy the game as much. “Wildstar” incorporates the traditional trinity while still maintaining its active combat system.
I’ve not participated in any of the end-game raids, yet. The game launches next weekend, but has had several beta phases over the past couple months, with last week being a completely open beta. What I have seen, though, are videos of the various raids, and to say they look impressive would be an understatement.
The telegraphs really come into play in group raiding situations. Each raid requires a group of 20 or 40 people to traverse some sort of giant dungeon (I use dungeon as a general term) and take on some big bosses, dodging all kinds of good stuff in the meantime. Some of the fights have only small areas on the ground that are safe, so you’re required to be careful with how you move, all while taking aim at your objective and defeating the boss.
Outside of the raids and dungeons, “Wildstar” is also offering what looks to be an incredible player-vs-player experience. What they’re calling Warplots are basically guild-on-guild battles. You set up your warplot, fill it with all kinds of fun traps and such, and take on another guild. While you try to navigate through and destroy their plot, they’re doing the same. Do you defend? Do you attack? Do you call for strikes from space to annihilate their forces? Teamwork becomes a big deal in Warplots. If that doesn’t sound like your thing, the more traditional PvP stuff is still around, too.
What if you want some alone time? That’s where housing comes in. One of the big things “Wildstar” was pushing when it was first being talked about was their housing system. Each player will have access to a plot of their own – a floating island in the sky. On this island you can do all kinds of stuff. There are spots where you can put things to help you craft. You can set up a garden. I’ve even seen somebody create an elaborate jumping puzzle that would need to be traversed before you can get to the main part of the house. It seems to me that the possibilities are endless. While that’s unlikely, it definitely appears that they’re letting you do more with housing than most other MMOs do.
It looks like a lot of fun, and I’m really aching to get going when the game launches June 3.
If you’re interested in “Wildstar,” be sure to visit their website at www.wildstar-online.com. The videos there are not only highly informative as to how the game works, but are incredibly entertaining and give an accurate feel of the game’s world and humor.
“Wildstar” is on track to be one of my favorite games, and like many MMOs before it, it’s looking to maybe pull some of the “World of Warcraft” crowd away. Only time will tell if it can take that crown, but this is one on which I’m willing to bet my money.
This article was originally posted at TheMonitor.com.